Innovations speed up Vantaa Energy’s journey to a fossil-free future
Vantaa Energy’s Fossil-Free 2026 project is on schedule and its key subprojects are well underway. Innovative solutions, such as an AI-enhanced bio power plant, geothermal heat and the world’s largest seasonal heat storage system will speed up the transition to a fossil-free future in Vantaa.
Climate change will not wait. That is why Vantaa Energy started its Fossil-Free 2026 project last autumn. The goal is to rapidly phase out fossil fuels in energy production in Vantaa by 2026. The project serves as a good example of how utility companies can take bold action and contribute to Finland’s and the EU’s climate targets. For example, Vantaa Energy will phase out peat and coal by already by 2021 and 2022, respectively.
– Our choices matter, especially when it comes to energy – and choosing Vantaa Energy is a step towards a fossil-free future. We have ambitious climate targets and a concrete plan for reaching them, states Jukka Toivonen, the CEO of Vantaa Energy.
According to Toivonen, customers and shareholders want to see the company take concrete action to mitigate climate change. Vantaa Energy is eager to be a trailblazer and thus an appealing partner for other companies. Furthermore, ambitious targets are a great source of motivation for the personnel and make the company more attractive in the eyes of potential employees.
Innovative solutions, renewable energy and circular economy are at the core of the Fossil-Free 2026 project. For example, large-scale collection of process data and artificial intelligence have increased the maximum output of the Martinlaakso bio power plant by almost 20 percent. In the spring, the new Varisto geothermal heat plant will also start supplying heat into the district heating grid and the expansion of the waste-to-energy plant will take a step forward.
The next few years will also see several important projects, for example the construction of the world’s largest seasonal heat storage system. The system will allow Vantaa Energy to efficiently utilise various sources of waste heat. Plans are also being drafted for a synthetic biogas facility which would produce methane from CO2 and water captured from the flue gases of the waste-to-energy plant. The produced methane could be used as a heating or transport fuel.
Phasing out fossil fuels also makes economic sense as the steadily increasing price of EU emission allowances makes fossil-based energy more expensive to produce. Going fossil-free by 2026 is therefore a great way to keep the customers’ energy bills stable.
– Our goal is to keep the price of heating stable in the future. We believe we can achieve that while making the investments needed to reduce our carbon footprint, Toivonen assures.
State-of-the-art technologies will enable the transition to a fossil-free future. Their deployment will require financial support from public authorities due to higher costs compared to older solutions. However, support schemes can quickly make these technologies competitive – wind power being a good example. Additionally, they are replicable elsewhere in Europe and can provide a competitive edge for Finland and the EU.
CEO, Vantaan Energia Oy
+358 50 453 6729